And did you know it's now less than 3 months until THE SAVAGE GRACE comes out on March 13th? Seriously, I can't wait.
Anyway, our winner of the $15 Amazon gift-card is:
Enjoy what's left on December 18th, and every other day you can.
Each author who is participating in the YA Scavenger Hunt will host one of the other participating authors, providing you with his or her bio, book(s), and special super exclusive bonus material.
But that's not all!
You can also enter to win the YA SCAVENGER HUNT GRAND PRIZE that includes a special gift from each of the 37 participating authors!! Rules and directions for how to enter will come later in this post, so keep on reading.
But wait, there's even more than that!
As you visit all the stops on the YA Scavenger Hunt, you will notice that many of the authors are hosting their own special giveaways in addition to the grand prize. Including me! (See the bottom of this post for how to enter to win me exclusive giveaway.) So, be sure to check out everyone’s page in the Hunt!
(While you're at it, keep an eye out for special keywords written in red. You will need them in order to enter to win the Grand Prize.)
Inara was born in the winter wonderland of Buffalo, NY. She promptly commenced complaining about being cold, and didn’t stop until she moved to Durham, NC, to attend college at Duke University. After graduating with a degree in History and Women’s Studies, Inara wandered around the country teaching outdoor education and writing bad poetry, and eventually found herself at law school in Portland, Oregon. Inara practiced law for ten years before screwing up the courage to quit her day job and devote herself to writing and teaching. Today, Inara writes anything and everything, including children’s books, young adult fiction, and adult romance. Her debut novel, DELCROIX ACADEMY: THE CANDIDATES, published in 2010 by Disney-Hyperion Books for Children, was a 2010 Oregon Spirit Book Award Honor Book.
All of her life, Dancia Lewis has wanted to use her powers for good. And now that she’s learned the truth about Delcroix Academy—and herself—she may just get the chance. But being part of Delcroix’s top secret Program isn’t anything like Dancia expected. She has to ask herself: what happens to the Talented kids who refuse to pledge their loyalty to the Program? And why did her friend Jack run away rather than join? Dancia’s boyfriend Cam insists they need the help of every Talented student to defend Delcroix from dangerous enemies outside their gates. But Dancia has to wonder: what if Delcroix’s most frightening enemies come from within?
When you write a book in first person, you get deeply embedded into a character's mind and perspective. This is really fun, especially when they're a tough, caring, and powerful girl like Dancia Lewis, the main character from my book The Candidates. But you miss getting that deep look into other characters' psyches. That's why I love writing scenes from other points of view. In this scene, which I wrote just for the fantabulous YA Scavenger Hunt, you'll go back to the beginning of The Candidates and hear from someone who, I think, may be misunderstood. (Or maybe not...I'M NOT TELLING.) Anyway, I hope you have fun hearing a little bit from Cam, the hottest boy at Delcroix Academy. If you haven't read the series, this will be a bit of a spoiler, so be careful! And enjoy...
I’d been watching her for weeks – months, really, if you count all the time I spent watching her talent marks, without knowing exactly what I was seeing. At first, I saw little puffs of color, or strange worm-like shapes crawling through the sky. We’d drive around but it was hard to pin down the source. Talent marks usually stay with the person who makes them, or linger right where the talent has been exercised, but these were different. They hung over houses, a restaurant in downtown Danville, even the middle school. Mr. Judan had us all on guard, just in case it was someone dangerous.
Then one day I saw something explode across the sky, like the image of a firework appearing, and then slowly fading from view. I was at Delcroix, sitting on the lawn with Anna and Trevor. School was almost done for the year, and we were all starting to panic about exams. I’d been studying so much I thought maybe I’d finally started to hallucinate. But no, it wasn’t a hallucination: it was a mark. The biggest talent mark I’d ever seen.
The colors and shapes fit together so beautifully, I knew at once that it couldn’t be more than one person. And the strength of it? Well, that was the remarkable part. Level two talents rarely left behind a mark– when they used their talent they might have a temporary aura, a barely visible glow around their body. Level threes always left something behind, usually for thirty minutes or more. But I’d never seen anything like this. This mark had been broadcast across the sky, creating a swath of color a mile wide.
That night, they broke the story on the evening news: a local girl, defending her grandmother, had leaped at a man with a gun, preventing tragedy from striking at the Central Danville Hospital. We guessed the truth was something far different: the man had been pushed. And not by any physical force. By the girl’s mind.
By seven am the next day we were Watching her. No one, not even Mr. Judan, could believe what we’d found. A level three talent? Untrained? Right under our noses in Danville?
We needed to bring her to Delcroix. For everyone’s protection.
We paid our recruiting visit a few weeks later. The girl’s name was Dancia Lewis. She lived with her grandmother in a tiny brown house on a street cluttered with broken-down cars and weedy lawns. Dancia’s grandmother met us at the door. She was a tiny thing with white hair and thick makeup on her cheeks and eyes. Dancia had light blonde hair that fell in tight ringlets around her shoulders. I’d seen her before, with the other Watchers, but hadn’t seen her up close. When she finally looked me in the face, I froze. She was beautiful, powerful, and terrified all at once.
All I could think was, how could they have missed it?
How could they look at her and not know what she was capable of?
In a dim corner of my brain I heard Mr. Judan say, “This is Cameron Sanders. He’ll be a junior at Delcroix this fall, and he’s one of our Student Recruiters. He works with me over the summer to identify potential new freshman and tell them about the school.”
Mr. Judan’s deep voice snapped me out of my reverie. “Call me Cam,” I said, pasting on a smile. I held out my hand, waiting for her to shake it.
She looked nervous, and it took a second for her to reach out.
“Glad to finally meet you, Dancia,” I said. Our hands made contact for the first time, and the shock took my breath away.
Normally, the first time I touch someone with the potential to become a level three talent, I get a little tingle. It feels more like an emotional connection, as crazy as that sounds, than any real physical connection. But not with Dancia. When our hands met I felt an actual current rush between us, like she was calling out my energy and I was doing the same to hers, and the result was a channel of power and heat.
She dropped my hand and winced, obviously feeling the same thing as me. I let some of my persuasion flow, though I didn’t have anywhere near the power that Mr. Judan did. I wanted to let her know it was all right. I tried to tell her with my eyes that she was going to be fine. Somewhere in that current between us I felt her loneliness, and it ripped at my heart.
But really, what could I say? It wasn’t like we were going to be honest with her. It wasn’t like she could trust us.
The lies were just beginning. I only hoped she wouldn’t hate me too much, when she found out the truth.